A tale of two restaurants.

We love Rehoboth Beach Delaware.
It’s kid-friendly.  The boardwalk has tons of rides, fattening foods and the restaurants are fantastic.
So here’s how one restaurant dropped the ball and another won our hearts.
First… the restaurant that failed miserably:
On a rainy afternoon, we were watching TV and a commercial came on for The Greene Turtle.  I’ve always seen their T-shirts.  And now they were on TV.  Their ad said, “Kids Eat FREE!”  The same thing is plastered all over their website.
I have two kids so what could be better?  Right?
We went to the new restaurant, had our meal (which was average at best)… and then the check came… but we were charged for two kids meals.
I asked the manager, “what’s the deal”.  And he said, “the Kids-Eat-FREE-deal is only for other Greene Turtle Restaurants… not this one.”  Huh?!?  But I saw the ad on TV.  And I hate TV ads.  And now I have even more reason to hate them.  I got suckered!  So I complained and told him that’s what brought me in.  And he basically said, “tough noogies.”
So do I want to go there again.  NO!
Now, on the other side of the coin… we visited an absolutely adorable little restaurant called HOBOS…. also in Rehoboth Beach.  The owner is amazing.  Not only does she say hello to all her guests…. but she also runs back into the kitchen to cook the meals.  I don’t know how she does it.  She must have a twin!
And… here’s the part that makes her restaurant better than the Greene Turtle (even though they have enough money to pay for fancy TV ads).  When my son and daughter wanted the plain kids Quesadilla with chicken and cheese, the waitress (with goodness in her heart) recommended they split an adult Quesadilla instead.  But when it was served, there was lots of “green stuff” in it.  And we all know that kids don’t like “green stuff”.  So we told the owner, Gretchen, what happened.
She completely understood and whisked the plates away so our kids could have the plain old kids Quesadilla as fast as possible.
She didn’t try to charge us for the adult Quesadilla.  She didn’t argue.  She didn’t debate.
And here’s the most interesting part.  If you go to Gretchen’s website at www.myhobos.com, you’ll see that it’s all about the food and the philosophy.  But it really doesn’t mention her character.  I guess she figured that’s just a basic ingredient all restaurants should have.
The truth is… her character and quick thinking to stand up for basic ideals such as “making the customer feel at home” and “making every meal enjoyable” are what will keep us coming back to visit her.
As you all know, I write slogans for businesses.  Business owners pay MarketSmart lots of money to do so.  And, while she doesn’t realize it, her slogan is actually already written.  And it’s buried at the bottom of one of the pages on her website where it says… “Hobos, where you go when you’re not home.” She’s exactly right!  We DO want to go there when we’re not home.

Nice job Gretchen!  Boo and hiss to the Greene Turtle.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Get smarter with the SmartIdeas blog

Subscribe to our blog today and get actionable fundraising ideas delivered straight to your inbox!